is clear that Thomas Hamilton had friends
within Central Scotland Police"
STARTLING new claims that senior
police and legal figures ordered a cover-up
over the Dunblane school Massacre
emerged last night.
Dr Mick North, whose daughter was murdered
in the tragedy, is to write to the Lord
Boyd], Scotland's top law officer, with
allegations that the evidence was suppressed or never
an astonishing attack, Dr Mick North branded
the original inquiry into the 1996 Massacre
of 16 schoolchildren and their teacher as a "piece
of theatre" and an "exercise in damage limitation".
"If it wasn't an outright cover-up
or whitewash, it was at
the very least a paint job by the establishment to
brush out some of the worst failings of a system that
had allowed Thomas Hamilton
to remain free and keep his guns despite serious allegations
about his conduct."
One pupils were gunned down along with teacher Gwen
Major when Hamilton burst
into the Dunblane Primary School gym shortly
after morning assembly.
before the eighth anniversary of the atrocity, Dr Mick
North said: "It is clear now that at the time there
was a strong desire not to undermine public confidence in the police.
"To achieve that,
questions that ought to have been asked were not raised, and witnesses
who should have been called were not heard. All the
senior lawyers were playing a role and I wonder now if they were
looking after our interests."
In the years
since the official Dunblane Inquiry chaired
by Lord Cullen, Dr North,
a retired university lecturer, has received vital information about
key witnesses who were never called to
give evidence in public.
will write to Lord Advocate
Colin Boyd, drawing his
attention to six key points:
The failure to hear evidence from Cathleen Kerr, a neighbour of
Hamilton's who saw him emerge from a grey-coloured car outside
his home on the morning of the shootings. The driver
has never been traced.
The failure to account for Hamilton's exact
movements from the time he left his home to
drive to Dunblane Primary School
- a 15-minute journey that took him more than
three-quarters of an hour.
Why an off-duty police officer was mysteriously
at the school on the morning of the shootings was never called
to give evidence.
The failure by police to identify Hamilton
as a paedophile who was almost certainly involved in supplying
photographs of virtually naked boys which he took on camps.
The failure by police to establish who Hamilton's
friends in the police were.
A number of witnesses testified that police
ars often stopped outside his home.
The failure to investigate links, revealed by three witnesses, between
Hamilton and the
Queen Victoria School,
a military school at Dunblane
with a small shooting range that Hamilton
used and where it is claimed by a former teacher
Harrison] that boys
North's attack came as a senior Conservative
caused outrage among anti-gun campaigners by suggesting
children should be taught how to handle firearms. Shadow
homeland security minister Patrick Mercer said a ban
on handguns introduced after the Dunblane
killings had "no effect" on spiralling gun crime. He
said children in rural communities should have lessons
in using non-lethal weapons such as air rifles as
a prelude to using shotguns in later life.
have already lobbied the Lord Advocate
and the Scottish Executive for a fresh Dunblane
Inquiry. Some parents believe
there was a Masonic conspiracy
to protect powerful friends of Hamilton,
who were widely believed to be Freemasons.
has had misgivings about the inquiry,
chaired by Lord Cullen, now Scotland's
most senior judge since its first day of hearing evidence, but this
was the first time he has spoken of his disquiet.
He said: "I lost confidence
early in the hearing when I believe a senior police
officer lied in evidence about the time at which parents had been
told their children were dead. He brought it forward by between
an hour and 90 minutes. The only explanation I could
see was that his version made the police
"Most parents had been
kept in the staff room until 3.30pm, about six hours after the shots
were fired, before learning their children were dead. Some
parents later came under pressure from police
officers to change the time they had given in their statements.
ridiculous now that the Crown Office was running the
show when we know that the Central Scotland
Police and the procurator fiscal had
most to hide in relation to Thomas Hamilton.
"We were dealing with
a man who had been brought
to their attention on a number of occasions, having displayed
violence and inappropriate sexual conduct with children.
not been prosecuted and was allowed to hold guns legally,
yet the Crown was picking the witnesses who'd be heard."
North is also deeply unhappy about the
100-year closure order that
was made by Lord Cullen
on 106 sets of documents relevant to the killings.
He said: "Did we simply
have an over-cautious judge, or is there something sinister being
kept from the public in the documents I haven't seen?"
he had watched with interest the tragic events that
unfolded at Soham and been aware of uncomfortable
parallels with Dunblane.
said: "As far as I'm aware, no one at Humberside Police
was a friend of Huntley's, but their chief constable has apologised
for their failings.
that Hamilton had friends
within Central Scotland Police,
yet William Wilson, the chief constable at the time,
denied he had anything to apologise for.
"The parents would
love to see Wilson give evidence but, like many other relevant witnesses,
he wasn't called."